The Cleveland Cavaliers got some great news on Wednesday before battling the Celtics as All-Star Darius Garland was back in the lineup after missing five games with an eye injury.
Garland and his backcourt mate Donovan Mitchell combined for 54 points on Wednesday night, but the Celtics had a shot at winning it in OT; however, Jaylen Brown’s jump shot at the buzzer was just off, and the Cavs defeated the Celtics again 114-113 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Cleveland has now won six straight.
Like last Friday’s game, where the Cavs beat the Celtics 132-123 in OT in Boston, this was a back-and-forth affair, but as they did in Boston, Cleveland made the plays when it mattered the most.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Celtics.
Donovan Mitchell did not shoot it well(11-27) but came up big when it mattered most, as he scored 11 of his 25 points in the final two and half minutes of regulation and overtime. In addition, Mitchell added six assists.
Darius Garland is back, and he balled out with 29 points, 12 assists, and three steals. He had 14 first-quarter points, which is the most he’s had in a first quarter in his career. Garland also recorded his 200th career steal on Wednesday night.
Jarrett Allen had his fifth double-double of the season with 14 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocks. Also, Evan Mobley was efficient with 15 points on 7/8 shooting and seven rebounds.
Third Quarter: The Celtics led 56-50 at halftime, but Cleveland turned it on in the third. The Cavs, who trailed 66-54 with just over nine minutes in the third, closed the quarter on a 29-10 run to lead 83-76 going into the final quarter. Cleveland outscored the Celtics 33-20 in the quarter and held them to 29% shooting from the field.
Not so Great:
Second Quarter: After a great start where the Cavs led 35-27 after the first quarter, Cleveland struggled in the second quarter. They shot 25% from the field and were outscored 29-15 in the quarter.
This win for the Cavs against the Celtics was more significant than their win in Boston on Friday because it’s hard to beat a team as good as the Celtics twice in less than a week. In addition, they made big plays down the stretch and won both games in a similar fashion. It’s great to have Garland back in the lineup. With Garland and Mitchell, the Cavs have two guys they can count on late in games, which should serve this team well throughout the season.
Cleveland will begin a five-game road trip on Friday when they battle the Pistons. After Detroit, they battle the Lakers, Clippers, Kings, and Warriors.
Best of the Rest:
Cleveland starting five all scored in double figures.
For the Celtics, Jaylen Brown had 30 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, and Jayson Tatum added 26 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists.
Cleveland is 3-0 in OT this season.
Garland received the “Junkyard Dog” award after returning from injury and balling out on Wednesday night.